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DAILY NEWS Nov 26, 2012 6:01 PM - 0 comments

TSX up on U.S. holiday retail season

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The Toronto stock market gained during the Nov.19-23 trading week as investors looked forward to a positive U.S. holiday retail season and possibly some good news coming out of Europe, regarding Greece’s bailout plan.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 335.52 points to 12,213.24. The S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals & Mining Index ended the week at 931.39, up 21.91 points.

The spot price of gold surged US$38.20 to US$1,751.90 per oz., helping gold miners along the way. The S&P/TSX Global Gold Index advanced 10.83 points to 318.82.

Australian miner Talison Lithium was the week’s most actively traded stock after receiving a conditional takeover bid from Chinese suitor Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group on Nov. 19.

Tianqi has offered to buy all the shares it doesn’t already own of the large pure-play lithium producer for $7.15 a share, valuing Talison at $806 million.

The miner says it is in talks with its advisors and the Chinese firm to determine if the $7.15-per-share offer is a “superior proposal” to the $6.50-per-share bid Rockwood Holdings tabled in late August.

It will evaluate “the monetary value of the offer, the likelihood of conditions being attached to a takeover, and the timing required to complete a deal,” write Canaccord Genuity analysts in a note.

Talison has pushed the meeting to vote on Rockwood’s offer to Dec. 13 as it decides what to do, noting that Tianqi has received Australian regulatory approval for its bid.  

Talison ended down 7¢ to $6.58 per share on 24.6 million shares traded.  

Agnico-Eagle Mines was the largest value gainer as it released a 2012 exploration update, highlighting a boost in resources at its Meliadine gold project in Nunavut, encouraging drill results from its Kittila mine in Finland, and progress at its La India and Tarachi projects in Mexico.

At Meliadine, Agnico completed a $40-million drill program in September, increasing indicated resources at the Wesmeg zone by 40% to 5.5 million tonnes grading 2.69 grams gold per tonne for 479,000 oz. gold and inferred resources at the Wesmeg and Normeg zones by 85% to 5.3 million tonnes grading 4.43 grams gold for 761,000 oz. A resource update should be out in early 2013, followed by a feasibility study in 2014.

At La India the firm expects to bump up reserves and resources at year-end and complete more metallurgical testing in 2013. It is also expanding the resource at the Tarachi deposit, which lies 10 km north of La India.

Agnico estimates bringing La India, envisioned as an open-pit heap-leach operation, online in the second half of 2014.

At Kittila, the gold producer focused its exploration efforts on Rimpi, one of the three main deposits at the mine. The thickest high-grade intersection at Rimpi released to date include 35.3 metres grading 8.3 grams gold at 912 metres depth.

Agnico added $3.45 to $55.64 on 18.4 million shares traded. 

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